Feb. 4, 2017
MANKATO, Minn. – The No. 4 Minnesota women's hockey team used a four-goal first period to secure a 5-3 win and seal a WCHA series sweep on the road at Minnesota State Saturday afternoon.
The Gophers were led by Kate Schipper's three-point effort, which included a pair of goals, as eight different players recorded at least one point for the second-straight game for Minnesota.
Along with Schipper's multi-point game, the Gophers received two assists from Sarah Potomak and one goal each from Sophie Skarzynski, Taylor Williamson, and Kelly Pannek. Sidney Peters made six saves on seven shots over the first two periods before Emma May made eight saves on 10 shots over the final 20 minutes.
"We're happy with the sweep here," head coach Brad Frost said. "To get six points on the road and put those in the bank is great."
Minnesota (21-5-3, 17-4-3-2 WCHA) scored four goals in a 1:31 span to take a commanding lead in the opening period and added a fifth goal midway through the second period, but Minnesota State responded with three consecutive goals in the second and third periods to chip away at the Gophers' lead.
"We really came out flying there in the first to get that four-goal lead, and that was obviously a big difference in the game," Frost said. "We had a little lull there in the third period, but overall we're really happy with the weekend and looking forward to facing North Dakota and getting back home."
Schipper scored her first of the game and 10th of the season at the 6:50 mark before Williamson netted her fourth of the season at 7:23 of the first period. Skarzynski made it 3-0 with her second goal of the series just 20 seconds later, and Pannek scored her 16th of the season at the 8:21 mark of the opening frame.
The teams exchanged goals in the second period as Schipper scored her third of the series at the 12:18 mark of the middle frame off a feed from Potomak before MSU's Jordan Jackson spoiled the Gophers' shutout with her first goal of the year with 4:39 remaining in the second.
The Mavericks (6-22-3, 3-19-2-0 WCHA) got two past May in the third period with tallies by Jordan McLaughlin at the 6:19 mark and Demi Gardner with just 30 seconds remaining, but the Gophers' first-period lead held up in the 5-3 win.
Minnesota was 0-for-2 on the power play but held MSU scoreless on three power-play opportunities. The Gophers outshot Minnesota State, 31-17, for the game.
The series marked Minnesota's final road trip of the regular season as the Gophers return to Ridder Arena for the final two weeks of the season, hosting North Dakota (Jan. 10-11) and Wisconsin (Jan. 18-19).
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